SkyVoice
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Posts: 294
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:34 pm

Flying into Louisville, KY for the Kentucky Derby

Wed May 02, 2018 5:05 am

This is especially for GA and charter pilots, but anyone can answer. What is it like to fly into Louisville, Kentucky on Derby Day or during Derby weekend? Did you fly into Louisville International Airport (SDF / KSDF), formerly Standiford Field? If so, where were you instructed to park? Or, did you fly into one of the other Louisville-area airports, like Bowman Field (LOU / KLOU), Clark Regional Airport (JVY / KJVY), or the now-closed Hap's Airport? If there was no room for your plane in "Kentuckiana", did you fly into one of the other airports in the region, such as FFT, LEX, CVG, IND, or another aerodrome?

Also, how does air traffic flow and ingress / egress for the Kentucky Derby compare to the same situations for other major events in other cities?

Growing up with family in south Louisville, it was always a treat for me to see all of the air traffic for Kentucky Derby attendees. The private air traffic consisted--and still does--mostly of light twinjets and light twin piston engine or turboprop powered planes. Back in the 1960s, my Dad--who sold mint juleps at Churchill Downs every Derby Day--would take me to Standiford Field on Sunday morning to let me see VIPs walking across the aprons to board departing airliners (Eastern Electras and Martin 404s, American 707s, Piedmont 737-200s and FH-227s, TWA Constellations, 707s and Convair 880s, etc.). Some airlines upgauged their equipment for the Derby, so I saw Delta DC-8s subbing for DC-9s, and, in later years, United 757s. I also watched many private twins depart, and I always marveled at how LOUD the jet engines were on the light twinjets, louder than the 707's engines!

There's more, but that's enough out of me because I want to hear from you. Thank you in advance for your responses!
"Your talents may take you where your character can not keep you." - Terry Nelson
 
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LAX772LR
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Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

Re: Flying into Louisville, KY for the Kentucky Derby

Wed May 02, 2018 6:48 am

Not sure of what help this would be, but flew in with two friends for the 2009 Derby.

Don't really remember much of the logistics, as none of us are pilots; but plane ended up parked on the X-like taxiway to the left of the terminal (if you were in the terminal looking out).

We disembarked, and they backed the plane up to the grass with the nose sticking out into the taxiway. Both sides of the taxiway had planes on it, lined up wing-to-wing with noses pointed to the inside of the taxiway. It was pretty efficiently done from what I could tell, so obviously the staff is used to it. All sides of that whole taxiway had all sorts of (smaller) planes on it. Everything was a jet, didn't see any props at all.

Those with bigger planes parked way off to the far left of the terminal and the 5X facility, both of which were dead-center in the field. Wish I could've stayed and watched, but the others weren't AvGeeks and our ride was waiting. :(

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tb727
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:40 pm

Re: Flying into Louisville, KY for the Kentucky Derby

Wed May 02, 2018 12:49 pm

I used to fly the horses in and out for the Derby from 2010-14. It's a zoo, no pun intended. We had our spot we always parked at up on the NW side just West of the terminal so it wasn't bad. I want to say we even moved the airplane to LEX before but I may just be thinking that is where we went to sleep because the hotels were all filled up or too expensive. Here is the tracker for the horse plane so keep an eye on how much it does the next couple months. https://flightaware.com/live/flight/KFS725

I've never really seen anything like it with all the biz jets. Maybe Nascar in it's own little way, especially at small uncontrolled fields like Concord, NH. That was an absolute mess with everyone trying to get their clearances and depart with the required separation. I never did any Super Bowl charters but that was pretty busy too.
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eicvd
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:11 pm

Re: Flying into Louisville, KY for the Kentucky Derby

Wed May 02, 2018 12:59 pm

One business jet that might make an appearance is G-NOAH, an A319. It’s regularly used by Coolmore who have a leading contender in the race.
COYBIB
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 3537
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Flying into Louisville, KY for the Kentucky Derby

Wed May 02, 2018 1:53 pm

About 300-ish bizjets parked everywhere on the field, ramps, taxiways are closed. Of course, everyone wants to leave at the same time. Rather like the parking lot at a MLB game. Back in the eighties, I was flying for a rather large and timely NYC newspaper. 60 minutes was there making business jets look wasteful, the boss said get the plane out of here. It was nice not to be there for the launch. Last time, in a Global, we left before the rush and the pax watched the race on the Direct TV, toasting the winner with Dom.

This scene happens a lot at events. I was once Number 15 in the hold for an approach to State College, PA. I had no idea what the Penn State v. Notre Dame games were like. Probably a hundred jets all trying to get in and leave at the same time, non-radar then.

GF
 
FlyHossD
Posts: 1921
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:45 pm

Re: Flying into Louisville, KY for the Kentucky Derby

Wed May 02, 2018 3:55 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
About 300-ish bizjets parked everywhere on the field, ramps, taxiways are closed. Of course, everyone wants to leave at the same time. Rather like the parking lot at a MLB game. Back in the eighties, I was flying for a rather large and timely NYC newspaper. 60 minutes was there making business jets look wasteful, the boss said get the plane out of here. It was nice not to be there for the launch. Last time, in a Global, we left before the rush and the pax watched the race on the Direct TV, toasting the winner with Dom.

This scene happens a lot at events. I was once Number 15 in the hold for an approach to State College, PA. I had no idea what the Penn State v. Notre Dame games were like. Probably a hundred jets all trying to get in and leave at the same time, non-radar then.

GF


It's been years, but I once did a Part 135 charter to SDF for the Kentucky Derby. It was quite busy, like many other special events such as the Super Bowl or the Daytona 500. Our clients wanted to stay a few hours after the race, so we (the other pilot and myself) watched all the jets rush out to get in a quite long line. As I recall, we didn't have any problems finding ramp space or hotel rooms the night before the Derby.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.

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